Preview 2009 - The Way-Early BCS Projections
Posted May 4, 2009

It's May, but it's never too early to think about the first week of January. While there might be some changes and different thoughts as the summer goes on, here is the first look at what the BCS matchups, including the national championship, might be.

2009-2010 Bowl Projections

BCS Picks - May

- 2009-2010 Way-Too-Early Non-BCS Bowl Projections

Don't get too mad/excited quite yet. The idea is to look into the crystal ball into the schedules and the talent on the top teams to figure out what the big money matchups might be. Remember, no one, nowhere would've ever predicted in a million years that Kansas and Illinois would make the BCS in 2007 (for the 2008 BCS games). We told you Hawaii was going to be in, but that was still a bit of a wacky call. Obviously the projections and predictions will change weekly during the season.

Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Jan. 1. Pasadena, Calif. ABC
*BCS vs. BCS  (Big Ten Champion vs. Pac 10 Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection:  Ohio State vs. Oklahoma
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) USC, 2) Penn State, 3) Michigan State, 4) Oregon, 5) Texas

How many times has Ohio State been to the Rose Bowl under Jim Tressel? Zero. The Buckeyes haven't been in Pasadena since the thrilling 1997 Rose Bowl win over Arizona State, and they haven't played Oklahoma since a 24-14 win in Norman in 1983. The Sooners beat Washington State 34-14 in the 2003 Rose Bowl and have lost five BCS games (and five of six bowl games) ever since. The Rose Bowl will likely get its second choice of at-large teams, and while it'll be pressured to take Boise State, it'll most likely take the Big 12's second best team.

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1 New Orleans, La. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS  (SEC Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection:  Ole Miss vs. West Virginia 
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) LSU, 2) Georgia, 3) Florida, 4) Alabama, 5) Boise State

Assuming the SEC champion is No. 1 and off to the national championship, the Sugar Bowl will get the first choice of teams and it'll most certainly take the second best SEC team. Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Georgia or even Florida; throw a dart and you might have the right SEC representative. Boise State might be the call if the Fiesta doesn't have an interest, but geographically is makes more sense for the Broncos to go to Glendale and the Big East champion, possibly West Virginia, to go to New Orleans. The Mountaineers stunned Georgia the last time they were in the Sugar, played in Atlanta in 2006.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Jan. 4 / 8:00 ET Phoenix, Ariz. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS (Big 12 Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection:  Texas vs. Boise State
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Oklahoma, 2) Oklahoma State, 3) Penn State, 4) Ohio State, 5) Nebraska

With all due respect to Oklahoma State and Nebraska, the October 17th Texas vs. Oklahoma showdown will likely determine the Big 12's automatic Fiesta Bowl bid. The Fiesta would LOVE to get the second Big Ten team in Glendale, and will consider West Virginia, but it would likely go after Boise State, because it makes a bit more geographic sense. The Orange picks ahead of the Fiesta in the at-large pecking order and isn't going to want the Broncos.

FedEx Orange Bowl
Jan. 5  Miami Gardens, Fla. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS (ACC Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Penn State
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) North Carolina, 2) Georgia Tech, 3) Pitt, 4) Clemson, 5) Miami

The Big Ten will likely get two teams into the BCS, and assuming the Sugar Bowl gets the first pick of automatic teams and will take an SEC team, and if USC gets into the national title and the Rose Bowl gets the first or second pick, that'll mean the No. 2 Big Ten team will either go to the Fiesta or the Orange. The Orange might give thought to West Virginia and its rabid fan base, but the game would get more overall attention by taking Penn State or Ohio State. Virginia Tech has one of the easiest/most favorable schedules of all the ACC teams that'll be in the hunt for Miami. Even so, if you want to argue that North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami, Clemson, Florida State, or some other ACC team might be here, you have a solid chance of being right.

BCS National Championship
Jan. 7. Pasadena, CA FOX
*BCS #1 vs. BCS #2 
Way Too Early Projection: USC vs. Florida
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Texas, 2) Oklahoma, 3) Ohio State, 4) West Virginia, 5) LSU

After winning three straight national championships, the SEC champion will likely be automatically in if all things are equal. The Texas vs. Oklahoma winner will likely have an inside track, but that team will have a landmine or two to deal with and probably won't go unbeaten. If USC beats Ohio State in Columbus, and doesn't brain-cramp in Pac 10 play, it'll play an SEC team in a bowl game for the first time since losing to Auburn 16-7 in the 1987 Citrus Bowl. The Trojans will likely drop one game with a brutal road schedule, but it still might not be enough to keep them out of the title shot.

2009-2010 Way-Too-Early non-BCS Bowl Projections